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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

David Gulpilil

1978
Juno Gemes

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 61.0 cm, image: 33.4 cm x 50.8 cm)

David Gulpilil (b. 1953), actor and dancer, was born near Maningrida in Arnhem Land, a man of the Mandalbingu people. After his electrifying appearance in Nicolas Roeg's film 'Walkabout' (1971), he became the best known Aboriginal actor of the 1970s. Other film appearances include 'Storm Boy' (1976), The Last Wave (1977) 'Crocodile Dundee' (1986) and 'Rabbit Proof Fence' (2002). Some years ago, Gulpilil returned to his ancestral lands to subsist through hunting crocodiles and fishing. He has explored the contradictions and difficulties of straddling traditional and European cultures in a smash one-man stage show, 'Gulpilil' (2004), conceived by Stephen Page and Neil Armfield, for which he received standing ovations at every performance. A portrait of Gulpilil by Craig Ruddy, 'David Gulpilil: two worlds' controversially won the Archibald Prize of 2004.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Juno Gemes (age 34 in 1978)

David Gulpilil AM (age 25 in 1978)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Juno Gemes (19 portraits)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency